Mainz snapped a six-game winless run after goals from Jean-Philippe Mateta and Jean-Philippe Gbamin secured a hard-fought three points at home to Werder Bremen.
Mainz 2-1 Werder Bremen
Goals: 1-0 Mateta (25’), 2-0 Gbamin (51’), 2-1 Pizarro (78’)
Mainz bellied their pre-match position in the standings - two points above the relegation zone and without a win since September - in a spirited first-half showing. Mateta, in particular, proved a real nuisance for the Bremen defence, striking the crossbar from an offside position early on. Pierre Kunde tested Jiri Pavlenka, before Mateta broke the deadlock with a clinical 25th-minute finish after Werder had gone to sleep at the back. The 05ers should have doubled their lead moments later, but Danny Latza sent his back-post header off target.
Bremen began the second period with renewed purpose, but fell further behind when Gbamin was allowed to ghost in from the right and fire an unstoppable effort into the bottom corner from 18 yards. Florian Kohfeldt reacted by going four up front, and the move paid dividends as evergreen substitute striker Claudio Pizarro swept in Johannes Eggestein's cross to reduce the arrears. The Green-Whites went all-out attack as Max Kruse forced a smart save from Robin Zentner late on, but Mainz held on for a priceless win.
- Six Bundesliga games without a win was Mainz’s worst ever run under coach Sandro Schwarz.After becoming the second-oldest scorer in Bundesliga history in last Sunday’s 6-2 loss to Leverkusen, Pizarro is now the first 40-something to score more than one season goal in the Bundesliga. His goal in Mainz was his 194th in the Bundesliga, and 17th as a substitute.Mateta scored his second goal of the season, after breaking his duck against Nuremberg on Matchday 2.Gbamin scored his second Bundesliga goal. His first also came against Bremen.Mainz led a match 2-0 for the first time this season.It's seven years since Bremen overturned a 2-0 deficit to win.
Mainz: Zentner – Brosinski, Bell (c), Niakhate, Martin – Gbamin, Kunde – Latza (Maxim 84'), Kunde, Boëtius – Mateta (Ujah 73')
Unused subs: Huth, Bussmann, Hack, Öztunali
Absentees: Adler (knee), Baku (foot), Berggreen (muscular), Bungert (calf), Holtmann (foot), Müller, Mwene (both injured)
Coach: Sandro Schwarz
Bremen: Pavlenka – Gebre Selassie, Veljkovic, Moisander, Augustinsson – M. Eggestein, Bargfrede (Harnik 72'), Klaassen – Osako (Pizarro 56'), Kainz (J. Eggestein 56'), Kruse (c)
Unused subs: Plogmann, Langkamp, Friedl, Sahin
Absentees: Bartels (ankle), Johannsson (fitness), Kapino (thigh), Käuper (ankle), Letterer (Pseudarthrosis)
Coach: Florian Kohfeldt
Watch: Claudio Pizarro demands Bremen improvement